December 2009 Plant Profile: Garrya x issaquahensis ‘Pat Ballard’

Discovered in the garden of Pat Ballard in Issaquah as a cross between G. fremontii and the more common G. elliptica, this is one of the most spectacular broadleaf evergreen shrubs to have in the winter landscape. It is truly exquisite in January-February with its semi-glossy medium green leaves adorned with elegant 12-inch “silk tassels”. It is a very tough shrub that is relatively pest and disease free and it is remarkably drought tolerant once it has established. This selection is somewhat rare and not frequently propagated, but a more common selection called ‘James Roof’ is also an excellent variety.

Common Name: Pat Ballard Silk Tassel Tree
Location: Soest Garden – South Slope (against Isaacson Hall)
Family: Garryaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 8 – 10ft
Spread: 6 – 8ft
Bloom Time: Winter
Bloom Type/Color: Pendulous pinkish gray with a hint of yellow colored catkins
Exposure: Part Shade to Full Sun
Water/Soil: Well drained with moderate moisture.